Issue No. 06 - November/December (2009 vol. 26)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MS.2009.170
Diomidis Spinellis , Athens University of Economics and Business
Advice on courteousness and politeness in technical communication is in short supply, yet this is needed when developers communicate with other people. When discussing technical problems, aim to encourage rather than complain, focusing on technology issues rather than the people behind them. Every email should tackle one topic and that topic should be the subject line. Quote email discussions with care, taking into account differences in personality, language, and culture. Avoid wasting your colleagues' time by doing your homework before communicating with them. Take time to learn and adopt your organization's specific practices. When talking to higher-ups, be sincere, avoid technical jargon, and appreciate their priorities and constraints.
communication, etiquette, human skills, email
D. Spinellis, "Basic Etiquette of Technical Communication," in IEEE Software, vol. 26, no. , pp. 86-87, 2009.